In its latest effort to make security keys more convenient, Yubico is launching the YubiKey Bio. It scans your fingerprint to verify your identity, saving you the trouble of typing a PIN every time you want to access your accounts.
Yubico actually announced the YubiKey Bio in November of 2020, about 11 months ago. It just takes a long time to launch products in the age of COVID-19. Anyway, the YubiKey Bio works like most security keys. You plug it into a PC or Mac when you want to unlock an account, verifying your identity through a simple PIN number—or in this case, a quick biometric fingerprint scan.
Maybe your PC or Mac already has a fingerprint scanner, but that’s besides the point. Security keys provide a physical layer of protection for all of your accounts. Even if a hacker steals your laptop and figures out your secret YubiKey PIN, they can’t access your accounts without using your YubiKey Bio.
The new YubiKey Bio comes in USB-A or USB-C form-factors and works with Windows, macOS, Chrome OS, and Linux. It’s also compatible with Chrome, Microsoft Edge, and other Chromium-based browsers.
But before you get too excited, Yubico actually suggests taking a quiz to see which YubiKey is right for you. The company says that some customers may prefer a YubiKey 5-series device over the YubiKey Bio, as they support protocols like NFC and come in a wider variety of form factors.
You can now order the YubiKey Bio in a USB-A ($80) or USB-C ($85) form-factor. If you don’t really care that much about fingerprint scanning, I suggest looking at the YubiKey 5C NFC, which costs just $55 and lets you verify your identity with your smartphone.
The YubiKey Bio provides an extra layer of security for your accounts without sacrificing convenience. It’s a great option for PC, Mac, Chrome OS, or Linux users who want a security key with a built-in fingerprint scanner.